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welcome back.
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i'montessa brewer back in the saddle covering the big news coast to coast. we begin with breaking news. the judge in the roger clemens perjury trial has just declared a mistrial. nbc's pete williams is in washington, d.c. what's the judge saying about this trial, pete? >> reporter: well, the judge has said he'll decide at a hearing on september 2nd, almost two months from now, where we go from here. this trial had just started yesterday with opening statements from both sides and the prosecutors had begun calling witnesses, but the judge had told the prosecutors in advance that certain evidence was off-limits and one of the things that was off-limits was related to testimony by a friend and former teammate of roger clemens named andy pettitte who had played with him on two major league teams. andy pettitte has said that roger clemens told him he used human growth hormone. clemens says that pettitte is mistaken. what's at issue here is a legal document, sort of sworn statement by the wife of andy
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pettitte, who says yeah, i heard my husband tell me that roger told him that he used steroids. now, the judge said that the wife's testimony, the wife's statement, was off-limits. nonetheless, this morning, the prosecution played an excerpt from what you're looking at right now. this congressional hearing in 2008. and one of the members of congress, in asking roger clemens a question at that hearing, read out a portion of laura pettitte's statement in which she says yes, andy told me he had a conversation with roger clemens in which roger clemens admitted using human growth hormone. so everything stopped at that point. the judge said you weren't supposed to do that. the government said well, you can just tell the jury to disregard this. clearly, the judge thought that wasn't enough, that too much damage has been done here, so he has declared a mistrial, meaning everything stops. the jury is sent home. that jury is gone now. the decision has to be whether to start all over again and there won't be any decision on
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that until after the hearing in early september. >> so at least a temporary reprieve here for roger clemens. thank you. we're also keeping our eyes on the debt drama. the white house is now considering calling all sides to camp david. debt talks this weekend. after sources say last night's talks turned ugly. >> president obama, quit lying. you know darned well that if august 2nd comes and goes, there's plenty of money to pay off our debt. >> republicans say default won't happen if congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, that somehow the united states will go into default and we will lose the full faith and credit of the united states. that is simply not true. >> but america's creditors and the folks on wall street are plenty worried. >> when you're the chinese, they're our largest debt holder. they're not talking or listening to michele bachmann. they're listening to very prudent treasury officials in china.
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>> now moody's and standard and poor's credit rating agencies are warning the country's aaa credit rating could be at risk if there's no deal to raise the debt ceiling by the august 2nd deadline. >> housing probably slows down, job creation definitely slows down, stock market probably gets hit, too. >> president obama reportedly knew about moody's warning before heading into debt negotiations with congressional leaders yesterday afternoon. it was the fifth meeting in a row and sources say the most contentious yet. >> house will be in order. >> with just 19 days to make a deal, the two sides appear to be moving even farther apart. they can't even agree on how last night's talks ended. sources say house gop leader eric cantor and president obama clashed over cantor's insistence on a short-term deal. and cantor told reporters the president warned him not to call his bluff, that he would take this to the american people, and then stormed out of the room. but democratic sources call
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cantor's version overblown, blaming the congressman for repeatedly interrupting the president. they say obama finally got fed up and said enough is enough, i'll see you tomorrow, and then left the room. >> many people, i wouldn't say this -- this is not just true in the white house. i think this is true among a lot of senators in the republican party, look at eric cantor as the problem. >> luke russert is on capitol hill now. how would talks at camp david be any more fruitful than going into the white house and having these meetings? >> reporter: well, contessa, it's something that's really abstract because we have now heard from house minority leader nancy pelosi saying she doesn't believe that the group has to go to camp david. house speaker john boehner said through a spokesman that he told the president personally he doesn't think that they need to go to camp david to accomplish these talks, they can get it done here in washington, d.c. so there is kind of an idea from the white house that okay, maybe if we locked everybody in a room in the foothills in the beautiful mountainous maryland
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that possibly that could hammer out some sort of debt limit deal. that most likely will not happen as of right now, members of congress don't necessarily feel the desperate need to go out there. as to what's happening on capitol hill this morning, it was really hunting season on eric cantor, the house majority leader, who has been in very shall we say terse negotiations with president obama. take a listen to what harry reid said on the senate floor today. >> house majority leader eric cantor has shown he shouldn't even be at the table. the time for personal gain and political posturing are over. it's time to put our economy and our country first. >> republicans will not be reduced to being the tax collectors for the obama economy. >> reporter: the question now becomes what exactly is a way forward. i spoke to one gop aide before i came over here, said picking on eric cantor, definitely not fruitful, it will not help these negotiations. they are trying to figure out a way in which they can actually cut spending in order to
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exchange for raising the debt limit. we have heard reports of numbers, $1.5 trillion in cuts, but president obama insisted there must be some sort of revenue, i.e., tax increasin this type of plan. there are some folks on the republican side that maybe we can do it in a way that's hidden. you can raise fees, for example, airline security fee, cut ethanol subsidies, do things that have to do with corporate jet loopholes and yachts. those things that would be politically solvent. another thing we're hearing about for the first time in a little while, the gang of five, a bipartisan group of senators who have been working on a deficit reduction plan over the last four or five months. they met in senator warner's office last night for two and a half hours trying to write down a plan in the event that an agreement couldn't be reached, maybe they would be the white knight coming up with a bipartisan plan of the united states senate. whatever happens, we do know there's a lot of doom and gloom
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on capitol hill. a lot of folks feel that both sides are still very far apart and president obama said yesterday that he's willing to bet his presidency on this issue and will not cave in to what he thinks are unfair republican negotiating tactics. republicans say we cannot pass a tax increase through the united states house of representatives. where are they going to fall? maybe somewhere in the middle or maybe this goes to august 2nd. great to see you back. >> i appreciate that. nice to be back. it's interesting here that harry reid has said if you have this commission, it should be a binding congressional commission. in other words, they're talking about binding arbitration for these lawmakers. meantime, there's this new quinnipiac poll coming out asking who do you trust more to fix the economy. 45% said they trust president obama more. 38% say congressional republicans. when asked which president is to blame for the recession, 54% are still blaming george w. bush. only 27% blame president obama. you have to wonder if this is
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what's leading mitch mcconnell to say look, republicans are really positioning themselves in a weak, undesirable way ahead of this election. that will be the question today. are lawmakers really focused on what's best for america, or is this all about winning elections? i want to hear from you. reach me via e-mail or on facebook and twitter as well. congresswoman barbara lee is a democrat from california. she's a member of the house appropriations committee and immediate past chair of the congressional black caucus. good to see you today, congresswoman. >> good to be with you. >> let me ask you. how can there be any resolution to this whole mess if lawmakers really are focused on short-term political pandering? >> they have got to stop focusing on short-term political pandering, and i think republicans just have to get serious, because they're about to take this economy over the brink. the president is negotiating in a fair way, he has indicated we
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have to have a comprehensive agreement to raise the debt ceiling, and also, those that were responsible for this crisis need to pay. you cannot allow medicare to be cut, social security to be cut, low income communities to be cut, the most vulnerable populations. we have to find revenue and we have to find revenue from tax cuts that the bush economic policies allowed to take place. we have to go back to the drawing board and do that. there is no way we're going to solve this if we don't have revenue and i think the president -- i know the president gets it and the republicans need to get serious. >> on jobs, congresswoman, some say it really handcuffs job creators if you all of a sudden go in and increase their taxes. that's basically how they paint a repeal of the bush era tax cuts. i know that the congressional black caucus is very focused on jobs. in fact, you're kicking off this jobs initiative this summer, really pushing the president to
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address especially african-american unemployment. are you worried that hiking taxes on corporations would also handcuff those job creators as the republicans call them? >> listen, under the bush economic policies, for eight years, the bush administration really did not create any jobs. these are the same economic policies that the republicans want us to continue with. we have got to go back to the drawing board. we're talking about billionaires, talking about millionaires who need to pay their fair share. when you look at the unemployment rate in the african-american community, it's off the scale, over 16.5%, 16.1%. the national average, 9.2%. off the scale in the latino community. enough is enough. we have not seen one job creation initiative or proposal put forth by the republicans. so i think they are holding this debt ceiling crisis as a hostage in terms of trying to game us. it's not fair, it's wrong and
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the most vulnerable in our country will stand to lose. so we're on the brink of i think what could be a catastrophe. everyone has acknowledged that. so they need to get real, they need to get serious, they need to come to the table and look at revenue. when you look at the oil companies and the subsidies, when you look at the huge tax breaks that are provided to the very, very wealthy, they need to pay their fair share. so we need to move forward -- >> are the democrats willing to follow the president if his deal includes major cuts to entitlement programs like medicare and social security? >> first, let me just say, senior citizens did not cause this deficit. medicare, social security did not cause us to be in this crisis. so there is no way we are going to allow our senior citizens and the most vulnerable to be victims to this political ploy. >> that's a no? you're not going to follow president obama? >> there is no way i'm going to vote for any plan that cuts or
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dismantles medicare or social security. that is not right. we are looking at some reasonable cuts that make sense and that's how we have to move forward. and we have to look at some revenue. if we don't have revenue on the table, then we cannot move forward. we have to move forward because this could take us to the brink of what would be a catastrophe. it would hurt our nation's economy. it would hurt our senior citizens. it would hurt people in the military. it would hurt the entire country. >> thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your perspective on the problem facing the nation. appreciate that. >> thank you. a shocking confession from the suspected killer of 8-year-old leibby kletzky. what the suspect told police. the latest casualty in minnesota's nearly two-week government shutdown. beer? first a look at what's happening on wall street. dow jones industrials up 5.5 points. looks like the s & p and nasdaq are down. the nasdaq, significantly down, almost 15 points here.
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media mogul rupert murdoch and his son james have bowed to pressure. they will appear before parliament on the hacking scandal. rebecca brooks agreed to testify but the murdochs initially balked. some u.s. lawmakers are also calling for federal investigations into allegations news corp journalists hacked into the voice mail accounts of september 11th victims. senator robert menendez, a new jersey democrat, wrote to attorney general eric holder saying the possibility this happened is quote, horrifying. republican congressman peter king of new york described the alleged hacking as unjustifiable
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and parasitic. has news international responded to the 9/11 allegations? >> yes, they have. it's really important to point out that this stems from a report in a tabloid article last sunday here in the uk. in that report there was an unnamed source that spoke to an unnamed former police officer who alleges that he was approached by "news of the world" to tap the victims' phones from 9/11 and he said he denied it. very, very thin but it has gained some traction and that's why we're seeing u.s. lawmakers talking about it. when i spoke with news international this morning, they had this to say. they said news international has seen no evidence to support these allegations. so clearly, they are denying at this point. >> stephanie, i know there has been another arrest here. we're talking about somebody who has been taken into custody. how far is this investigation
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going to go? are experts saying how many people they expect to have to face consequences for this? >> the head of the investigation for scotland yard told parliament this week that this investigation is ongoing and it's going to grow. she expects it to widen. there is no limit to it at this point. she did allude to the fact there could be more arrests. the arrest this morning was a 60-year-old former editor of "news of the world." his name is neil wallace. he was also the deputy to andy colson, who was arrested last weekend, a spokesperson for prime minister cameron. there's a lot of interest around his control of the paper and what it did while he was its steward. >> we were just showing new jersey senator frank lautenberg there, who has gone so far as to say look, news corp is an american corporation and could actually face consequences based on american laws, no matter where the crime allegedly happened. we'll have to wait and see how that plays out. stephanie, thank you.
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a confessed child killer is due in court today. suspect levi aron is expected to be arraigned soon. aron led police to the body of 8-year-old leibby kletzky in his brooklyn apartment. the little boy that he confessed that he smothered and then dismembered. for little leibby's parents, the worst kind of horror. it was the first time they had allowed their little boy to walk home alone. this is a crime that has absolutely shocked this city. >> reporter: it certainly has, and really the country. it's relatable for all parents, to have a child say i want to do this or that, it really raises the question when do you let your child walk alone. this young boy was 8 years old, had begged his parents to just walk home alone from camp. he wanted to feel like a big boy and his parents said yes, they rehearsed the route, they practiced it. it was about seven blocks from camp to the rendezvous point with his mom. he never made it. he got lost and asked for directions of a stranger, according to police. that stranger, the man who is
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now under arrest, police say took him, kidnapped him, brought him home and then later killed him and dismembered him as well. he's due in court a little later. police just held a news conference a short time ago and they say levi aron, the suspect, is cooperating and talking about exactly what happened, giving them a tick-tock timeline of what happened. he said he took the boy to a wedding with him, although people did see the suspect at the wedding in the suburbs of new york city after the alleged abduction, they did not see the boy. police say they believe him about that, though. they say he brought the boy back to his house. the boy slept overnight while watching television, aron, according to police, went to work at a local hardware store on tuesday while the boy was in his house. police believe the boy was tied up somehow and they do believe that he was killed sometime on tuesday with a towel, according to the confession, and at the end, a very chilling line from
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the suspect, who says i'm sorry if i may have done something wrong here and i'm sorry for any hurt i may have caused, so police say this just defies logic. the suspect has no known criminal history. they are delving into his past to try to make some rhyme or reason out of this, though it seems there would never be any. >> jeff, thank you. sarah palin says she will say whether she's running for president soon. hello. same old story? plus another big win for the u.s. women's soccer team. there has not been this much excitement in years, since brandi chastain kicked the world cup winning goal in 1999. i'll talk with her ahead. nnouncer ] where'd you get that idea? how'd you learn to do that? what'd you use? every project we finish comes with a story built-in. it's how our rough ideas become "you did that yourself?"
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a tragic case of lightning striking twice in new jersey.
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54-year-old steven rooney was struck at a barbecue with friends and family last sunday. he died five days later. 48 years ago, his dad suffered the same fate. he died after being struck by lightning while fishing. >> his father was fishing, he had a knife in his hand, i believe a fishing knife, which almost is like a conductor. so he got a direct strike from a bolt of lightning. that evening, he actually said that. he said don't worry, guys, we're all right out here. the storm passed and he said besides that, you're with me. lightning don't strike twice in the same family. >> the bolt of lightning that killed rooney also struck his cousin but the cousin survived. the government shutdown in minnesota has put 22,000 people out of work and put many services on hold. while there may be a deal to end it soon, for now it looks like beermageddon. miller coors which makes nearly 40 different kinds of beer, failed to renew its sales license with the state before the shutdown so sales can't continue. that means until the shutdown is officially over, it's looking like a total buzzkill.
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bars say they are running out of that brand of beer and oh, no, all hell is breaking loose. a hailstorm in denver damaged a lot of air planes. the storm damaged about 40 aircraft. airlines are still trying to figure out the complete extent of the damage. other operations vehicles were also hurt. about 1,000 people had to spend the night at the airport because of all the flight cancellations and even today, airlines continue to cancel dozens of flights. a final farewell to former first lady betty ford at her final resting place in michigan. next to her husband. plus, remember the subprime loan crisis? companies are giving those same loans out to people again who have bad credit. what is going on here? hot on the web today, there is a new bobbitt in town. the most popular story on the huffington post today. prosecutors charging a southern california woman with torture for allegedly cutting off her estranged husband's penis and shoving it down a garbage
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disposal. the 48-year-old could face life behind bars if convicted. the hottest search on google, the actor who plays kurt on "glee" is nominated for an emmy but is leaving the show at the end of the third season. michele bachmann is probably hating all the attention she's getting for her husband's scared straight clinic. jon stewart is getting his fair share of attention for it today, too, for his particular take. >> you're having trouble, jon, having that urge to ridicule again, aren't you? >> yeah. presidential candidates' husbands trying to cure gay people while himself, just take a look. ♪ >> wow. okay. i'm coming in. >> thank you.
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i appreciate that. >> you need to get it out here.
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welcome back to msnbc. i'm contessa brewer. a suicide attack killed at least four people at a memorial service for hamid karzai's assassinated brother. at least 15 people were wounded. children exposed to second-hand smoke may be more likely to have learning or behavioral problems such as adhd. researchers say there could also be other factors. the astronauts aboard the shuttle "atlantis" are getting a day off today to savor the historic experience and eat barbecue grilled chicken, beef brisket, baked beans and apple pie. so american. amazon reportedly will launch a tablet in october to compete with the ipad. it will have a nine-inch screen and use google's android operating system. wall street is putting washington on notice over deadlocked debt talks. moody's and standard and poor's are warning the united states is risking its sterling credit
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rating if there's no agreement to raise the debt ceiling by august 2nd. melissa francis is here with that. you have all these republican politicians like michele bachmann, steve israel, joe walsh, who argue the u.s. wouldn't default on its loan so what's the real impact here? >> you know, s & p and moody's are saying not so fast, we won't let you escape on a technicality. they are basically saying you may pay your debt, you may pay bond holders but if you get out there and don't make payments like social security or anything else that we may not pay instead of paying bond holders, they will downgrade the debt anyway. it basically means it would be harder for the u.s. to borrow money in the future and also those who lent money to the u.s. would have to hold more capital on their books in order to make up for the fact the u.s. might default. it's bad. bottom line is not good news. >> okay. if we just default for say a couple days and then there's a deal to be done to raise the debt ceiling, does it still have the same impact? >> you know, basically, s & p
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and moody's are saying yes. yes. they're saying none of these short-term tricks that would get you over the finish line in the long term are going to help with your credit rating. if you don't pay your bill on time, bottom line like anybody at home, it will damage your credit in the future and there's really no way around it. you guys need to get serious and make a deal. that was the message. >> let me turn topics here a little bit. we got into this mess in part because of subprime loans to people who could not afford them. the "wall street journal" is reporting that a number of private investment firms again are writing loans for subprime borrowers. how does that make any sense? >> let me try and defend this one. we all know someone who technically, they have gone out to buy a house and technically they can afford it. they look at the payments and they are ready and willing to make the payments. but the bank won't qualify them for one reason or another. the companies that are making these loans are saying that in a lot of cases, it's just a minor technicality of some type and that really, these people are credit-worthy but for one reason or another, the banks aren't
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qualifying them. they're saying just to make it super-safe, we're forcing these people to put about 40% down and there's a market for this. we're willing to take the risk and go out and make the loans. i looked really closely at this because i thought maybe they were doing the same things that happened during the subprime crisis where they were then flipping those loans and selling them to someone else so it wouldn't really matter if they wouldn't get paid down the road. no. so far, these companies that are doing this business are keeping the loans on their books. we have all heard about people who have gone out and tried to take advantage of the fact that home prices are so low, and they have tried to buy a house and for one reason or another, they don't qualify even though technically, they really believe that they could make the payments and they have every intention of doing so. >> then you have a lot of anxious sellers who look forward to doing these deals and then for the buyers' mortgage to fall through, just sets everything back. good to see you. >> good to see you. welcome back. we're so happy to see you. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. sarah palin is still not saying whether she's running for president in 2012 but now at
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least she's giving us a timeline on when she'll make a decision. she said on fox news it would be by august or september. >> i'm not so egotistical to believe it can only be me to turn this country around. i'm not wholly confident that we have that field set yet. i'm still thinking about being one who would offer myself nup the name of service. >> earlier this year, palin said she thinks she can win a national election. texas governor's rick perry august prayer summit is getting a negative response from atheists and agnostics. the freedom from religion foundation filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that meeting violates the constitution's ban on government endorsement of religion. earlier this week, perry released a video promoting the event. >> with the economy in trouble, communities in crisis and people adrift in a sea of moral
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relativism, we need god's help. that's why i'm calling on americans to pray and fast like jesus did. >> jennifer palmieri, former white house deputy press secretary, joe watkins, republican strategist, also an ordained minister. joe, why would rick perry go out on this limb and risk alienating a lot of moderate conservatives who may not put religion on the front burner by being so welcoming, so embracing, of religion? >> well, you have to give any candidate credit for willing to be who he or she is, without compromising it. governor perry has a strong personal faith and is saying that people ought to turn to god in this time of difficulty. as a pastor, i see nothing wrong with that at all. he's willing to actually put his political life on the line for it as well. i think that says good things about his willingness to be up front and to lay it all out for
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americans to see. >> jennifer, do you think there's a risk here for rick perry and other conservatives who put religion front and center, i mean, in some cases let's just get it out there on the table, there have been others, for instance, you know, david vitters of the world, john ensign, marc sanford, who embraced family values and it turns around to kick them in the butt. >> there are democrats guilty of both crimes as well. i think that you do set yourself up if you hold yourself up as a pious person, you set yourself up for a fall but it is interesting because i think certainly in 2004, as recently as 2008, i don't think any conservative presidential candidate, not that rick perry is one yet, would have been attacked for doing what he did, that the linkage between
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religion and conservatives in the republican party was really strong and it's interesting that there does seem to be a little bit of blowback from moderates in the republican party that just perhaps aren't as comfortable with -- not with religion per se but with the role of religion in politics. in iowa, for example, michele bachmann's come under a lot of fire with her husband's gay treatment therapy, and a conservative group there, tim pawlenty is -- i'm surprised to see this happening. >> it's interesting the way religion is somehow linked with gay rights. you've got tim pawlenty declining to sign that iowa conservative group's marriage vow. it asks candidates to denounce same sex marriage, pornography and some forms of islamic law. here's the video pawlenty's campaign released yesterday. >> well, my family and i were catholics when i was growing up but when i met mary in law
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school, she was an evangelical and introduced me to the lord in new and powerful ways. i think when somebody is running for or holds high office, whether it's mayor, governor, president of the united states, voters want to know and deserve to know who is this person. >> so is this a signal, do you think, to other candidates who have not talked so openly about their faith? is this an effort do you think to put mitt romney and jon huntsman on the hot plate? >> i don't think this puts either mitt romney or jon huntsman on the hot plate. they certainly have a strong religious faith. what they all realize, all the candidates realize, that their faith is important to people. people want to know whether or not they are centered that way. but at the same time, they want to make sure they have an answer to the needs that americans have right now which is obviously an ailing economy. you have 9.2% unemployment for african-americans, that's over 16% and they're looking for candidates that are going to be able to actually address that and put people back to work. so it's great that they have a faith but they want to make sure
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they also have a plan to get americans back to work. >> jennifer, do you think these conservative groups that are demanding the pledges realize what a difficult position they're putting the candidates in? >> if they do, they probably don't care. but i don't think that any of this -- i think the messages that pawlenty put out yesterday probably helps romney and huntsman to make it more comfortable to talk about your faith. but it does seem that a lot of these republican candidates are trying to delink religion from politics and for a number of years, going back at least to 2004, it was some conservative groups used religion to bludgeon people politically and to try to force them into particular, use it as a stick as opposed to a carrot. for people to explain their faith is part of them, that's important for candidates to do if that's what they believe. i think it's a rare positive thing to happen in the republican presidential primary that you are starting to see this delinking of politics and
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religion. >> thank you guys very much. appreciate it. the u.s. women's world cup is heading into the finals this weekend and the team has a lot of fans cheering them on, including the '99 women's team. brandi chastain joins me next. at tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke,
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coming up next on "andrea mitchell reports" the latest on the clemens mistrial. plus, no end to the rancor in the debt talks. with just 19 days to go, we'll talk to ways and means chairman dave camp and ranking democrat on the budget committee, chris van hollen. how are candidates weighing in on the debt debate? nicole wallace joining us. plus all the latest on the "news of the world" hacking scandal. investigations on both sides of the atlantic. see you in 15 minutes on "andrea mitchell reports" right after contessa brewer. casey anthony set to be released from prison this weekend but her legal troubles are far from over. she faces a defamation suit
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brought by a woman named zenaida gonzalez. in 2008, anthony told investigators that a woman with that name took her daughter. lawyers for gonzalez filed a motion asking anthony be required to appear and give a deposition and they're concerned once casey anthony gets out of prison, they won't be able to find her. three tennessee sheriff's deputies are on leave after their police dash cam caught them beating up an alleged suspect. the man's lawyer says the video shows the deputies continuing to punch and taser the man for at least ten minutes after he was handcuffed on the ground. the deputies claim they were simply dealing with an intoxicated suspect. authorities are investigating the allegations. a louisiana lawyer could be in some legal trouble of his own after getting into a bar fight that was all caught on security camera. the violent brawl escalated quickly. the lawyer, delivering some pretty rough blows to another guy in the bar. the lawyer's wife ended up with a cracked rib. no criminal charges were filed but the bar owner is suing the
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for the first time in more than a decade, the u.s. women's soccer team is headed to the world cup finals. abby womback used her head to score the tying goal, and a minute later, another goal to clinch the semifinal against france. the u.s. team faces off against japan sunday. they are also competing against the memory of the famous 1999 world cup final, when the u.s. beat china. we were hoping to talk with brandi chastain about that big win more than ten years ago but unfortunately, in trying to reach her, her phone calls are just going to voice mail. we'll try again. we have been talking online about what's driving the debt deadlock in washington, and you all have a lot to say on this topic. r.d. giles thinks our elected officials don't do anything for this country unless it benefits their re-election. re-election first, country second.
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robert murphy writes, this has become ridiculous. republicans are acting like petulent children having a tantrum. when does this end? renee says both sides need to eat their peas and carrots and compromise for all americans. raise the debt ceiling and make some cuts. i appreciate that you all write in. you can always get me on facebook, twitter, e-mail. this afternoon, betty ford will be laid to rest next to her husband. he would have turned 98 today. nbc's jay gray joins us live from grand rapids, michigan. a sort of homecoming for the former first lady here. >> reporter: no question about that. this is the place she always called home, grand rapids. let's take a look real quickly now. you can see the hearse slowly pulling away from the gerald r. ford museum, her coffin just loaded inside. following this hearse will be a convey of cars and suvs full of her family members, her extended family, who has been with her
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coffin throughout this long and emotional good-bye which started in california and has now moved to grand rapids. they are on their way to the grace episcopal church, the same church that she married gerald ford in more than 50 years ago. it's where her private funeral will be held later today. we expect to see former president bill clinton here, former vice president dick cheney, donald rumsfeld expected as well. lynn cheney actually providing one of the eulogies in the ceremony today. again, a very private ceremony, just family and close friends. then she will return here for her final interment. she will be buried next to her husband here. throughout the day, hundreds have shown up to pay their last respects, to honor a woman who was strong and changed the role of the first lady in the white house. she was not afraid to say what she felt, stood up for women's rights and also very involved with the subjects of addiction and breast cancer, both affecting her and her family's
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lives. outspoken about that, not afraid to be public. a lot of the women we talked to here today say that it really changed the dynamic for them and really made this place a better place for women to be. that's how she's being remembered right now. >> it's interesting, too, when you're talking about the way she put addiction and treatment for it back on the front burner. this is a great reminder for folks that in terms of personal struggles, that if the first lady can grapple with it and do so publicly, then for everybody else, it should be a nonissue. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. that's what you hear from a lot of the people who were drawn here today, because of the stance that she made publicly. they said they felt they had to say one final thank you, one final good-bye. you know, as we researched and got ready to cover this event, it's interesting to go back and listen to some of what betty ford said throughout all of this. she also was readily available
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to talk to anyone about any of the issues that affected her life very privately, but became very public and then to see her talk about her family and how they supported her, and how she couldn't have done any of the things that she did without that immense support. it's been very interesting, very revealing to go back and really understand what she did, how she did it, and i think one driving theme in all of that is she was always most comfortable, it seemed, at her husband's side. that's where she will end up later today. >> in the times i was able to interview the former president at his home in california, i was always impressed with the respect and just the affection that he held her in. theirs was truly an amazing marriage and it's sad to see her go. thank you so much. thank you for watching today. i'm con ses tatessa brewer. this wraps up this hour to me. i wanted to take a moment and say thank you to those of you who sent messages while i was
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gone. i really can't tell you how much your love and support and prayers meant. thank you so much for that. really happy to be back with you on msnbc. appreciate that you watch here. noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. out west. tomorrow, so-called carmageddon starts on the 405 in los angeles. you poor folks on the west coast. that will be a mess. ub next, "andrea mitchell reports." just let me add my thanks to you. we're so glad that you're back. thanks, contessa brewer. great to see you back. we all missed you so much. up next on "andrea mitchell reports" prosecutors strike out. more on the clemens mistrial from pete williams, next. with time slipping away, the debt talks seem to be producing little more than heated rhetoric. the president told republicans enough is enough. we'll hear from both sides of the aisle, just ahead. plus, 2012 politics spilling over into the debt debate. most of the candidates are weighing in. what about mitt romney. that plus the very latest in the news corp investigation. ♪
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" boiling point. tempers flare as the president butts heads with house majority leader eric cantor. >> there's really only one person who has not made any concessions, of all the eight, nine in that room, and that is majority leader cantor. >> the partisan rancor spills over today on to the senate floor. >> republicans will not be reduced to being the tax collectors for the obama economy. we won't be seduced into calling a bad deal, a good deal. we won't let the white house fool around with the full faith and credit of the united states. >> the whole world is watching. moody's warns the u.s. could lose its cherished aaa rating. >> we need to do something very
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